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Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

376                      THE "HORRIBLE SEA-SATYRE "                     CHAP.
Grey Whale. " Belua truculenta dentibus," observed Glaus Magnus
of this Cetacean. The high dorsal fin has been much exaggerated
in old drawings; it has been even represented as strong and
sharpened at the end, so as to be capable of ripping open the
belly of a Whale. The fact that it sometimes lies over a little
to one side is responsible for another anecdote: that an example
of this Whale was seen to retire with a couple of Seals tucked
away under the flippers, another grasped by the dorsal fin, and a
fourth in the mouth ! " When an Orca pursues a whale/* wrote
Dr. Frangius, " the latter makes a terrible bellowing like a bull
when bitten by a dog." It is probable, according to F. Cuvier,
that this "Whale is the *' Aries marinus ** of the ancients, certain
bands of white upon the head giving an impression of curved
horns. It may also be the " horrible Sea-satyre" of Edmund
Spencer.
Allied to Orca, but distinguishable from it by some rather
minute peculiarities, is Pseudorca. It may be thus defined:
Teeth eight to ten, much like those of Orca. Dorsal fin
rather small, falcate. Vertebral formula C 7, D 10, L 9, Ca 24.
Six or all the cervicals united. The curious fact about this
Whale, which embraces only a single species, JP. crassidens, is that
it was first known in the fossil condition from remains discovered
in the fens of Lincolnshire. An important day for cetologists
was that on which a whole herd entered the Baltic and furnished
material for a better study of this Whale. It is not, any more
than its near ally Orca, confined to northern seas; for several
examples, at first relegated to a distinct species (_P. meridionMs),
have been obtained from the seas round Tasmania.
Orcella (which has been written Orcaella) has fourteen to
nineteen small sharp teeth in each half of each jaw. The
pterygoids are widely separate. The dorsal fin is small and
falcate. The vertebral formula is O 7, D 14, L 14, Ca 26.
Seven ribs are two-headed, and five of them reach the sternum.
This genus contains but a single species, O. brevirostris, which
is both marine and fresh-water in habit; it occurs in the Indian
seas, and in the Irrawaddy even as far up as 900 miles from the
sea. Some regard the fresh-water individuals as a distinct form,
is a genus known  only from a skull, which  is
the elevation of the premaxillae into a crest; the